Phoenix art community comes together to help one of their own

Local muralist Pablo Luna has been fighting for his life, due to a variety of medical issues. His friends and family hosted a fundraiser for him at Barrio Cafe.
Published: Mar. 19, 2022 at 9:38 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Pablo Luna has been leaving his mark (often literally) on the Valley for decades. But for the last month, various health issues have forced the Valley painter and street artist to remain hospitalized, fighting for his life. To help with costs, those closest to Pablo put on a fundraiser at Barrio Cafe and Fridas Garden in Phoenix.

“To be honest, I think he’d be a little bit jealous that he’s not here,” Pablo’s girlfriend Carissa Dominguez said. But Pablo Luna is here, there, and anywhere else there is Phoenix art. “I’m really excited to be able to tell him how much everybody loves and supports him,” Dominguez said.

Nearly one month ago, Pablo’s health issues began. Diabetes and blood infections, followed by pneumonia and Valley Fever. And that’s not even all of it. “We’re frustrated because our brother, our friend, a father, he’s in the condition that he’s in right now,” Pablo’s sister Lina said. Any good days seem to be followed by bad days. But on this day, it’s about hope and not pain.

“It’s incredible,” Lina said. “I’m overwhelmed by how many individual people have come up to me and shared with me stories of Pablo and them. And how they met him, and the impact he’s had on their life.” At Barrio Cafe and Fridas Garden, chefs, artists, and countless others did what Pablo would have wanted. They celebrated and came together.

“Usually it’s Pablo that’s by my side and being part of that fundraiser, Barrio Cafe owner Silvana Salcido Esparza said. “So it’s a no-brainer absolutely to do this.” All proceeds raised from any food, any artwork purchased, go towards Pablo’s family and medical costs. Because for those who know Pablo best, it’s a matter of when, not if he’ll be back painting.

“I knew you could do it,” Lina said. “That’s exactly what I’m going to say to him. I’m going to say all along, I knew you could do it.”

“Órale!” Salcido Esparza added. “Welcome back. Let’s get to work…you’ve got a mural to finish!”

If you’d like to make a donation towards Pablo’s costs, you can do so at this GoFundMe.